Sinus Congestion
Natural Remedies

Natural Sinus Congestion Remedies

| Modified on May 21, 2023
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Sinus Congestion Remedies

If you have sinus congestion and cannot breathe, you want relief right now! Natural remedies for sinus congestion are quite effective. You may have just what you need in your kitchen!

Instant Relief

Apple Cider Vinegar

Watch our video below on this particularly fast-acting acv remedy to clear sinus congestion!

Relieve Sinus Congestion in 10 Seconds

Black Peppercorns

To use black peppercorns to relieve your sinus congestion, take 4-5 peppercorns and slowly chew and swallow them. Relief is imminent.


You know that when you use cayenne pepper on your food you only use a bit because it is so powerful. The same goes for using it for medicine – a little goes a long way. Take a cotton bud and dip the tip of it into the cayenne pepper. Carefully insert the cotton bud into the nose and apply the cayenne pepper to the inside of your nose. Have your box of tissues handy because your nose is going to run like a faucet! Be warned – this remedy does burn initially but that feeling passes quickly and is worth the relief it brings.

Vapor Rub

Carefully apply a menthol salve or vapor rub to your face over your clogged sinuses. (Be careful not to get it into your eyes!)


Herbs can be taken in food or tea. They take a little longer to work than the above methods and actually work well when combined with the above methods. These herbs work to support the immune system and reduce inflammation to bring long term relief.


Nettle is highly nutritive and is especially helpful if your sinus congestion is caused by allergies. Several cups of nettle tea can be consumed daily. Alternately, take 4 nettle leaf capsules twice a day, with or without food.


Garlic will fight infection, reduce inflammation and support your immune system. You can add garlic to your meals or buy a garlic supplement.


Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory king! Additionally, it fights infection. Turmeric can be taken in capsule form, thought traditionally it is added to milk. ¼ teaspoon to up to a teaspoon can be added to a glass of warm or cold milk. Because dairy products often make sinus congestion worse, try a non dairy milk like almond or rice milk.


If you like spicy foods, you will be happy to hear that they are effective at fighting sinus congestion.


Have you ever tried horseradish? It is very spicy and you can feel it up in your sinuses in seconds after it enters your mouth. You only need a pea sized amount on a cracker or piece of bread. You may need to repeat the remedy every hour or so.

Hot Sauce

Hot sauce can be added to your food, soups or even hot tea to get your sinuses opened.

Tomato Tea

Tomato tea also makes benefit of spicy foods to open up the sinuses. This recipe created and refined by Jean has helped many people find relief from their sinus congestion.

Lifestyle Remedies


Light exercise can help relieve sinus congestion. Walk around the room or up and down the staircase a couple of times. A rebounder is especially helpful and will also get your lymph moving to facilitate long term healing.

Wear a Hat

Grandmothers told their children to wear a hat and scarf for a reason! You lose a lot of heat through your head. Keeping it warm retains your body heat and energy and has even helped some with sinus congestion. Wear a warm stocking cap around the house and even to bed, especially if you have a chilly bedroom.

Baking Soda Bath

A warm bath is relaxing and healing all at once.  At a cup of baking soda and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your bath water and soak as long as you like. The baking soda helps to alkalize your body and the eucalyptus oil will help to clear your nasal passages.

Do you have a natural remedy for sinus congestion? Please send us some feedback!

Related Links:

Find Relief from Sinus Infections Naturally
Ice Cream and Sinus Infections: The Link to Artificial Flavorings

Jean's Famous Tomato Tea

3 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Earth Clinic (USA)

Jean's Famous Tomato Tea is so popular (197 YEA and counting), we put it on its on page! Read the considerable reader feedback on Tomato Tea here:, including Jean's updates.

Replied by Brockmanxiii
(Azzano Decimo, Pordenone, Italy)

Within an 15 minutes of drinking one cup of "Jean's Famous Tomato Tea" I could breath again. I used the original recipe and it worked wonders. I am already planning on a secound cup this afternoon. Thanks Jean! I found Earth Clinic by chance and now I'm addicted to searching common issues. What a wonderful site."

01/12/2011: Marie from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "I, like the many others who tried this, is thankful for this site. This worked so well for me. I got a sinus headache and wasn't sure what to do. I remembered earth clinic and found the tomato tea recipe. I went out and bought everything I needed and made it right away. I felt relief after an hour. I made more the next day and the day after that. By the second day of taking it I was back to normal. Now I just make the tea because I love eating it and I know its good for me. It has all good stuff in it. Also I make it for my friends and they love it too. Thank you Jean!!!!!"

01/23/2011: Heather from Greensboro, Nc replies: "This really works! Thank you."

03/03/2011: Gojus from Alameda, Ca replies: "Just drank a cup and feeling much better! Thanks for the receipe!"

03/16/2011: Cnlk from Plymouth, Wi replies: "Tried the tomato tea, great stuff. Didn't provide me with immediate relief, but does help. I spiced it up a bit by adding some vinegar from a jar of jalapeno's and one diced jalapeno slice. Also added a little cumin and used a 5.5oz can of low sodium V8 juice."

03/20/2011: Jmb from Beaufort, Sc/usa replies: "My left sinus was completely congested in the upper area (I can breathe fine just extreme headache and eye pain) for the last 2 days due I believe due to the extreme pollen we are experiencing this year. I just tried tomato tea 5 minutes ago for the first time and I am already feeling the benefits. I think one more cup in the morning and I will be back to normal. Thanks so much!!!"

04/15/2011: Leslie from Milwaukee, Wi replies: "It is unbelievable how good this remedy works. I made this tea after taking cough medicine 4 hours before with absolutely no relief. Halfway through drinking a cup, I could breath through my nose as though I had no cold. Thank you for sharing this natural "cure". I feel a lot better."

05/13/2011: Ryley from Vancouver, British Columbia replies: "It worked and all my sinus worries are gone. Thank you so much!

Replied by Adrienne
1 out of 5 stars

I really wanted this Tomato Tea to work but it hasn't. I even tried it twice -- real hot so that I could inhale some of the vapours. Sadly, like most things on this site, I think it's just another old folk remedy. It's been several hours since my first cup of the tea and still I am blocked in both sinuses. I will probably just go to some regular Zyrtec now.

Replied by Prue
(Malaysia, Pj)

Hi, may I know what is hot sauce?

Replied by Amanda
(Dallas, Tx)

Person from Malaysia - hot sauce is like american sri acha sauce... Its chili powder and vinegar mostly.

Replied by Rosali
(Mumbai, India)

This might give relief to some but not to everyone. Unless and until the cause is treated one will not find long lasting relief. The treatment should have the anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce congestion and draining out the mucus. It should also boost the immune system so that the hypersensitivity to allergies will decrease.

Replied by Scott
(Indianapolis, In)
1 out of 5 stars

I like the way it tastes, but it didn't do a lot for my congestion, but loved the taste and it sure didn't hurt.

Replied by Tony
(Alabaster, Al)
5 out of 5 stars

This helped! I went heavy on garlic and hot sauce - nasal passages may not be all this clears - but I am better in 5 minutes. Thank you! I was miserable!

Replied by Gottacloggedschnaz
(Downers Grove, Il)

The only ingredient missing is Vodka and a stalk of celery. I'm in!!!!

ACV, Garlic, Oregano Oil, Sea Salt

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by KIM (MARINA DEL REY, CA) on 01/09/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Over the holiday I took a bus trip and It seemed that the person on the side, back and front of me was coughing and sneezing. I had a turtle neck and a scarf to cover my mouth and nose but when I returned home I kept feeling like I was going to catch a cold for a week. When it finally manifested it was by way of my sinus cavity and throat with a dry cough. I took an over the counter med. and Motrin and was still miserable. I finally could not take it any more and typed in cures for sinus in my computers search engine and your site was at the top of the list. When I clicked on the site the testimonial page popped up first. In Los Angeles we have a store called that delivers organic groceries. On their website they didn't have the ACV but when I talked to the sales assoc. She checked the shelf and they not only had ACV but it was organic with "mothers veil." It has been 3 days and my cough is completely gone and my sinuses no longer drip. My mixture is:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 drops oregano essential oil
  • 2 tbs. organic ACV
  • dash sea salt
  • 8oz hot water

Replied by June
(Pasadena, California)

Hi Linny,

I have taken large quantities of oregano oil when I've been sick and never had any side effects! I took 3-4 supercritical capsules at at time and up to 4 doses a day. I currently have oregano leaf herbal extract in my cupboard and just looked up the dosage on the bottle after reading your thread: it says 30-40 drops per dose. Not sure what kind of Oregano leaf oil you were taking but I think you'll be okay.

Replied by Brayden
(Los Angeles)

Great idea on the mixture, but you screwed it up by putting it in the microwave. boil the water and then mix it.

Ajwain Seeds

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Johnathon (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on 04/17/2008
4 out of 5 stars

I tried the ajwain seeds a couple of times yesterday and didn't see any results, i followed the instructions to the T, didn't experince any of the sensations that i read from other peoples testamonials, so i then tried the spicy tomato tea and only got minor results. So i made another tea about three hours later and still only minor results, it did however help me sleep better, without having to take my any pills which i normally take to help me sleep.. I woke up without any pressure in my sinuses, and no headache, so this morning a dank another tomato tea, and a couple more througout the day. Along with drinking the tea i decided to steam with apple cyder vinager which really helped loosen up my stuffy sinuses, i added thyme and fenugreek to the cyder, not sure if that helps? im going to try a few more cures from your site, and continue with the tea and steam, and keep searching till i find what works best for me...

Ajwain Seeds
Posted by Mamta (Indiana) on 10/27/2006
5 out of 5 stars

i haven't taken any off the counter medicines for colds since 5 yrs !! and my condition was pretty bad when i came to the US. we got Ajwain seeds from an indian store or you will find it in the indian section of a chineses food store . Ajwain is indian oregano but very strong. everytime i get a cold and chest is congested...i take one tsp of ajwain and roast it on a flat pan. once it starts to smoke , quiclky put in a kitchen tissue and take deep inhalations, it makes you sneeze since all the nerve in the nose are raw from the cold....but in 5 minutes it all peaceful, no more colds. and RELIEF...esp. helpful in asthmatic attacks.....also have a strong concaction of ginger,black pepper, clove, basil and cinnamon...boil it in water for 5-10 min and after it cools a bit put a tsp of honey and have it hot. honey should not be heated. according to Ayurveda all these thing reduce phlegm in the body.... enjoy

Apple Cider Vinegar

109 User Reviews
5 star (95) 
4 star (2) 
3 star (2) 
1 star (10) 

Posted by Nina (Philippines) on 09/08/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Hi to all our EC readers from the Philippines!

It's nearly 12 midnight and I can't sleep due to sinusitis and the dreaded headache that accompanies it. So, I went to this site and read through.

I decided, steam inhalation is the best coz it can go to places no one has ever gone before! Hihihi

1/4cup ACV ( braggs wd the mother.)
1cup water

Heated it up in the microwave two min.

Tilted my head over the bowl wd the mixture, got a clean dishtowel n covered my head including the bowl, so the steam will just concentrate on the area I want and not scatter all over the place.( I hope you get the picture) tried my best to breathe through my clogged nose. After a while it slowly cleared. Made sure to breathe deep and while doing that I did those facial sinus massages they do on You Tube.

I did spit a lot of clogged stuff while my sinuses were draining. After about 10 minutes of that, I'd gargle ACV wd warm water n a pinch of cayenne. That got all the mucous in my throat out. What a relief!

Walked a bit to allow gravity to drain away more clogging. I felt my headache just saying goodbye not wanting to come back to me. Good riddance!

I did the whole cycle two times.and after about
30 minutes, my sinuses were drained no headache, happy me!

I can't thank you enough for sharing this!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lisa D. (Hartford, SD) on 04/20/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Sinus pressure:

A very saturated ACV onto a q-tip and roll inside your nostril sniff back and pressure is gone. Great stuff.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lakesha (St. Louis, Mo) on 12/03/2017
5 out of 5 stars

This remedy worked immediately for me. I've known about it forever but just didn't think to do it. So this site reminded me. I immediately drank 2tblsp of vinegar in 1 cup of filtered water then followed that with snorting 1tsp in 1 cup of warm filtered water. I was so stopped up I couldn't even snort it at first. So I used a small bottle cap to pour it in as I held my head back. That cleared it enough that I could blow it out. And for the first time in a week it was looser and more clear. So I snorted when I could and it keeps coming out loose and clear!!! I can breathe!!! It only took a minute of my time. I wish I had done this a week ago SMH

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Amazed (Rochester, Ny) on 09/12/2017
5 out of 5 stars

ACV + Honey + Hot Water for Congestion

WOW. I did NOT believe this would work. Not that I'm against natural cures, but this really, really shocked me. I'm not that sick, just a head cold, but tonight my runny nose turned into a congested one within a matter of hours. So full I had to start mouth breathing. I found the ACV-HONEY-HOT WATER remedy and gave it a try. I also added in a few sprinkles of freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper. BAM. Within 30 seconds (NOT KIDDING! ) I was starting to feel open. Within 5 minutes I'm COMPLETELY clear. I went ranting and raving to my husband (who's also sick but with throat stuff not nose-yet). I dont know how long it will last but I will continue drinking it for health. I actually really love the taste of ACV and honey so this will be a treat. TO EVERYONE'S GOOD HEALTH!

*note, the honey and ACV I used were raw/organic.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ted (Tx) on 06/12/2017
5 out of 5 stars

ACV sniff for sinus congestion.

It worked for me as well

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Beagleslways (Lighthouse Point, Fl) on 03/28/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Have had sinus congestion for 3 days. Just watched the Earth Clinic video using a paper towel saturated with apple cider vinegar and tried it. Started to feel relief! Then made up the 6 oz of water, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar and honey mixture and am drinking it as I write this. Amazing....... I can breath. I was totally clogged before this. Thank you!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by L8wman99 (Orem Utah) on 02/16/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I've been congested for two days. NyQuil did not help. Mucinex neither. This actually worked! Hoping to get some sleep tonight.

6 oz. hot water
2 tbsp ACV
1 TBSP honey

Kind of tasted like theraflu to me. Wow!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sally (Michigan ) on 01/27/2017
1 out of 5 stars

I'm so stuffed up I can't breathe, I've tried the Apple Cider Vinegar and I tried the hot towel for the steam, Nothing works! Any advice, anyone?

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Sally,

Cayenne pepper on a q-tip up the nostril is a drastic but fast and effective remedy - at least for me. Even just a tiny bit really helps. Be prepared to sneeze and drain and have a burn feeling for a few minutes. Totally worth it IMO.

~Mama to Many~

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jj (Old Bridge, Nj) on 11/11/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Amazing! I tried taking it first and did not feel relieved. I'm so desperate to feel better. So I tried the other suggestion. I heated some of the ACV and then inhaled the fumes. That worked for me! TIP: close your eyes when you inhale the fumes. It stings. So happy I found this website!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Shulie (London) on 05/16/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I used the recipe on your site, 1/4 cup of ACV to 16 oz of water. My nose is already unblocked and I haven't even finished the drink!! Thank you.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Thrilled2pieces (Bella Vista, Ar) on 04/18/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I've been adding a splash of ACV and honey (I mix a cup of each, microwaved to blend, in a bottle) in every glass of water I drink. My husband cannot stand the smell, but I absolutely crave it. I almost always have a stuffy nose--one nostril or the other. I was considering going for the balloon sinuplasty since my eyes feel squinty and small all the time because of the congestion. I was reading about ACV as a nasal wash last night---thought it would burn like the dickens! I took one of those saline nasal-wash bottles--used distilled water and about a teaspoon ACV, plus I added a squirt of the coconut oil I keep in a spray bottle. No burn whatsoever---and voila! I can breathe through both nostrils! My eyes feel bright and wide---sounds incredible, but true.

My husband complains of allergies all the time and has had tinitus for 45 years. He is NOT Mr. Natural--what a shame. I gave up dairy, soda pop and alcohol. I just cannot believe how alert I feel. Go ACV!